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Document Details :
Title: Henry of Ghent on the Siege of Acre
Subtitle: Magnanimity, Suicide, and the Role of God
Author(s): POSTI, Mikko
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 89 Issue: 1 Date: 2022
This article deals with some key ideas found in Henry of Ghent’s Quodlibet XV, question 16, which is concerned with the actions of a Christian knight during the siege of Acre that took place in 1291. In answering the question of whether the soldier acted magnanimously on the battlefield, Henry provides a rich discussion of magnanimity and the ethics of suicide. Despite his status as one of the leading minds of the later 13th century, Henry’s ideas on magnanimity have received little attention in previous scholarship. On my reading, Henry’s understanding of magnanimity is reminiscent of the Christian view of magnanimity before the assimilation of Aristotle into the university curriculum. Furthermore, Henry allows God’s causality a more central role in his discussion of warfare than most 13th-century theologians and canon lawyers.